Many non-resident estates would benefit from Governor LePage’s proposed estate tax repeal

As I explained previously, Gov. LePage’s proposal to eliminate Maine’s estate tax would exclusively benefit the wealthy. And now, thanks to information provided to the Taxation Committee yesterday by Maine Revenue Services, we learn that nearly half of the benefit would accrue to the estates of wealthy out-of-state residents. There were 153 taxable estates in Maine from decedents who died in 2013. Of those, 83 (54%) belonged to Maine residents and the remaining 70 (46%) belonged to out-of-state residents.

Although more than 13,000 Mainers died in 2013, only 83 left behind taxable estates. That’s fewer than 1% of all Maine estates. Only estates valued at more than $2 million are subject to estate tax in Maine.

Repealing  Maine’s estate tax- one of the governor’s top priorities -would cost more than $30 million per year and affect the estates of fewer than 100 Maine residents. The governor has also said that people who reside out-of-state but visit or live in the state for part of the year should pay their fair share in taxes. Clearly, repealing the estate tax would be another tax break for non-residents. The legislature should reject the governor’s estate tax repeal proposal.